On 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU, in Kingston the Referendum vote was 38.4% leave & 61.6% remain. Kingston welcomes people from all over the world who make a huge contribution to the community and this includes 11,000 people from other countries in the European Union.
Kingston Council believes diversity is one of the boroughs greatest strengths and wants to protect the rights of all its residents, including EU citizens. We are committed to supporting the community, residents and businesses in Kingston when the UK leaves the EU.
The UK government has reached an agreement with the EU that will protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK.
If you’re a European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to get either settled or pre-settled status. Those who already have five years continuous lawful resident in the UK will be eligible for settled status. Others will be able to remain in the UK to build-up five years' continuous residence provided they apply for pre-settled status.
Gaining settled status will ensure your right to live in the UK and will allow you and your family to continue to have the same access to healthcare, benefits and pensions as you currently have.You need to apply by 30 June 2021 or 31 December 2020 if the U.K leaves the EU without a deal.
Kingston is one of the local authorities offering EU, EEA and Swiss citizens free advice and support to complete the ID verification part of the process.
To remain in the UK after 2020, EEA and Swiss citizens moving to the UK after exit, and their close family members, will be able to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain, a new scheme that will launch after exit.
The Government has launched a prepare your business for Brexit tool to help businesses prepare for Brexit. You can use this tool to find out what you may need to do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU, what’s changing in your industry and information on specific changes to rules such as:
- employing EU Citizens
- Importing, exporting and transporting
- operating in the EU
- Regulation and standards for goods and products
- Using personal data
- European funding
- Intellectual property
- public sector procurement
Some of the key things you need to know:
- If you import or export goods or services to the EU make sure you register to use transitional simplified procedures (TSP).
- If your business trades with the EU you'll need to register online for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
- Your contracts may need updating to continue to lawfully transfer personal and customer data between the UK and EU. There is unlikely to be any change to UK laws on food, product safety or consumer rights when the UK leaves the EU.
The Government has created an employer's toolkit with advice and information to support EU citizens and their families to apply to the EU settlement scheme.
For further information about the potential impact on businesses, what support is available and proposals for how Brexit should be approached from a business perspective see:
- Confederation of British Industry
- Federation of Small Businesses
- London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Institute of Directors
- British Chambers of Commerce
- London Enterprise Partnership
The Mayor of London has launched nine new London Growth Hub Centres to support small businesses as they prepare for Brexit. The centres will offer face-to-face advice and resources.
To visit Europe after Brexit there are things you need to do before you travel. These include:
- checking your right to travel documents and passport (you will have at least 6 months left and your passport must be less than 10 years old).
- getting travel insurance which covers your healthcare
- organising pet travel - you need to contact your vet at least 4 months before you go.
This applies both if you’re a tourist or travelling for business. Business travel includes activities such as travelling for meetings and conferences, providing services (even with a charity), and touring art or music. For more information visit the visit Europe website
- Find more information about exiting the EU and UK residence, or to register with the Home Office in order to receive information updates on
- >The European Commission has provided some useful frequently asked questions and answers regarding the rights of EU Citizens in the UK
- To find an immigration advisor or solicitor near you who can provide independent legal advice, visit the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) or the Law Society
- For free advice on obtaining residence documentation for EEA nationals and their family to achieve settled status, see the UK Citizenship for European Nationals
- The London Assembly has information about Brexit, including impact assessments, the work of its committees and the views of the Mayor of London.
- On the The Local Government Association website, which represents councils across England and Wales, there is an explanation of the reassurances and commitments local government wants from the government.
- The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), which promotes the voluntary sector and volunteering, has a Brexit section which explores the issues for its sector.